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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old April 8th, 2007, 06:13 PM   #1
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16X manual vs 20X Auto Len

I am shooting my XL2 now mostly in manual mode (both focus and exposure) especially to avoid focus searching when people move or during a zoom. The 16X manual lens is easier to use in manual focus mode, but how does it compare in image quality, etc as compared to the 20X lens that came with the XL2 in manual mode?
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Old April 9th, 2007, 07:29 AM   #2
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I've used both the x16 and x14 on my XL2 and I have to say the picture on he both were fab but the x16 was some of the sharpest and well defined pictures I taken with the camera. I would say better then the stock x20....but saying that it was only in one lighting situation on one day.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 10:35 AM   #3
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16x Servo Lens vice the 20x Stock Auto

For the serious video maker, there is no question that you should continue to use the 16x lens. The auto lense are OK for quick shooting, but for quality use the 16x. I have one and I use it for everything and I won't go near my auto lense. Even is manual mode on the auto lens it can never compare in quality.
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Old April 9th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #4
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Stephen I'll have to strongly disagree with that comment. The 20x stock lense is a superb piece of glass of equal quality to the servo 16x or the fully manual 14x. I have used all those lenses, the choice of which is best for you shouldn't rest on the glass quality exclusively. All 3 lenses were designed by the broadcast division in Canon and all 3 resolve all the pixels the XL2 can handle.

Also, depending on the situation, one lense will inevitably turn out better than the other. For example, in a run and gun environment, the excellent optical stabilizer of the stock lense combined with a very long focal range can become invaluable. Also, manually focusing in those situations shouldn't come any harder than with the manual lenses, as you don't really need the distance markings for run and gun shooting. Plus the 20x doesn't have any noticeable lense breathing, something that cannot be said about the 16x and 14x lenses.

I know that when I got my XL2 a while ago I chose the 14x fully manual as a complementary lense to the stock 20x because of the fully manual iris ring which is also something that can come quite handy when shooting in uncontrolled lighting conditions.
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